|This anonymous family bears an eerie resemblance to one branch of my father's family excpet that the number of spawn would need to be multiplied by at least ten..|
One of my readers commented that I've led an exciting life. I don't really think such is the case. Maybe everyone looks at their own lives and thinks, "boooorrrrrinnnng." Maybe even Suri Cruise, the Kennedys, the Hiltons, and the combined Kardashian/Jenner debacle look at their own lives and think the same thing, though I highly doubt it.
I will admit that my parents are funny people -- even when they don't try to be funny. For that matter, they're only funny when they're not trying to be funny. Their actual attempts at humor are beyond lame. I have a large extended family of real relatives and an equally large group of pseudorelatives, basically the extended family of a guy who grew up with my father and to whose house my father excaped when the lunacy of his own home threatened to overcome him. More people = more chaos.
My family, like any family, has its sane members, its members who are on the brink of sanity/insanity, as in they're not wholly impaired enough to be kept under lock and key, but not necessarily of sufficiently sound mind to be allowed to run free, and then there are those about whom there is no question: they're certifiable. Everyone has some relatives falling in each of these categories. It's just that the larger one's extended family is, the more people there are falling into the latter two categories.
One distinction needs to be made. There's eccentric, and there's all-out psychotic. My aunt Cristelle and her husband Mendel, who had the Wiccan wedding in which I was the flower girl who flitted and floated between each row of drunken guests blasting rose petals into their astonished faces with a mega-battery-powered wand, are eccentric.
They may have named their child Blitzen Manx, whom Ccristelle wanted to birth in a wooded field on a bed of roses until the first contraction hit, at which point she was rished to a hospital, where she was grasping the ties of every doctor who walked within her reach to demand an epidural. Cristelle and Mendel do, however, at least get Blitzen Manx vaccinated, and he wears clothing.
On the other hand, there's my Uncle Mahonri, husband to my dad's sister Marthalene. He works for the Church Educational System. He's also either a confirmed kleptomaniac or an outright thief. He was arrested while stealing a carton of disposable douches (Do they even make douches that aren't disposable anymore? I certainly wouldn't know where to go to purchase one.) in the loading zone of a big box store in Sandy or Draper, Utah. (I always confuse those two communities.) No one has any clue as to what was Mahonri's need for the disposable douches. I don't know if he didn't know what it was that he was stealing, or if there's a rampant problem with feminine hygiene in his immediate family. I try not to stand close enough to any of them to know for certain.
Mahonri's elsest daughter, Marthalette, is the cousin who thought pregnancy could be prevented by douching with Coca-Cola shortly after doing the evil deed. We know how effective is that method of birth control, as Marthalette conceived her first child shortly before her sixteenth birthday. She married the lucky sperm donator, and the pair has since spawned eight more offspring. I don't know if she thinks she's the next Michelle Duggar and really wants all those children, or if she's still going with the Coca-Cola douche method of birth control. Sooner or later that magic amusement park with all those rides that go up and down, otherwise known as menopause, is going to put a stop to this madness. In the meantime, I'd expect at least another eight children -- possibly more if multiple births are invloved -- before she either dicovers that cococola douching is ineffective as a method of birth control or the government discovers the landfill so thoroughly ensconced in the filth of Marthalette's offspring's diapers that measures are taken to prevent another outbreak of Duggaritis. One thing my dad suggested recently is that Marthalette's choice of douching substance, if she's still using it, may have something to do with the offspring of her children. An acidic pH is advantageous to male sperm.
Marthalette has nine boys. It could be random, or it could be the Coca Cola inserted in that most strategic of body cavities..
Then there's Aunt Elyse, who has eleven kids, but can't cook, sew, comb a child's hair dedently, clean a toilet, or accomplish any other domestic task with any degree of competency or without going into some sort of manic-depressive state. (I'm aware that bi-polar is the preferred and politically correct term now, but manic -depressive more accurately depicts Elyse's state of mind during one of her episodes. She cycles from one extreme to the other with the rapidity of the Tilt-a Whirl at the county fair.) I happen to know - and if the rest of the family did, WWIII would break out - that my grandmother pays someone to clean her house, cook her meals, shop for her, do her laundry, and keep tabs on her children. With the time Elyse has because she's freed up from domestic chores, she designs crafts for Relief Society projects. She's the one who came up with the Santas crafted from unused tampons. (Mahonri should've stolen a crate of tampons. Some in the family might have actually had a use for those.) She also fashioned portraits of both Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith by crushing egg shells, dying them, and gluing them strategically onto canvas. My dad said the two portraits looked a hell of a lot more like John Lennon and Yoko Ono than the two whom they were intended to represent, but he didn't say that to Elyse, because her husband is 6'5" and over three hundred pounds. He'd never catch my dad in a million years if my dad saw him coming, but were he to successfully pull off a sneak attack, the results could be devastating if not fatal.
That is the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of the weirdness is my family. My whole life is not my family, though. I've had my share of bad things, good things, and stupid things happen to me, just like anyone has. Part of what might make the casual observer think my life is to eventful to be true is that I had a roughly one-year span of unbelievably bad luck. In less than a year I 1) broke multiple bones in a freak hurdling accident, 2)was temporarily placed in an immobile state and with a kidney infection in the care of incompetent relatives who left me by myself in their third-floor attic with something toxic burning in the oven, forcing me to injure myself further in escaping, and 3) was sexually assaulted in a school restroom.
Over the course of a lifetime, that much bad luck will fall upon most of us. I just happened to have it all happen within a very short period of time. My life isn't all that much different that anyone else's. I've never been to India or walked on the Great Wall of China. I've never been to a Super Bowl, World Series game, or NBA championship game.
I've never been in the Olympics, or even to the Olympics. I've never seen a baby be born. Hell, I've never even seen a puppy or kitten be born. I wasn't within three thousand miles of the World Trade Center when it went down. I've never met a President or Vice-President of the United States. I've never been in a hot air balloon. I have climbed Mt. Whitney barely. So out of fifteen major milestones, I've achieved a grand total of one.
I have a weird family, and I had a string of bad luck, including a mother who had leukemia. Those are my total claims to fame. The rest is just my OCD memory, which is really just an inability to forget. Everybody has done stuff like purchased proctology textbooks in Goodwill Stores, gone to children's parties dressed as "Trailer Trash Barbie," and attended sleepovers at mortuaries. Most people just don't remember the details quite so thoroughly.